the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship is a global competition that assesses students’ design skills in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. Presented by Certiport, students are invited to represent their respective countries at the World Championships.
The 2021 competition, repeating for the eighth year in a row, attracted more than 65,000 contestants from 65 countries to demonstrate their design skills. From the pool of contestants, a 23-year-old Malaysian was awarded first place, receiving a prize of $ 7,000.
Meet Danny Tse Wei Chun
He is currently coordinating producer at Omen Animation Studios, Danny was born in Alor Setar, Kedah. In an interview with the Vulcan Post, he shared that his design skills took off when he joined their founding program at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR).
By earning a degree in Digital Animation, he delved deeper into the ins and outs of Photoshop and developed his animation skills, which included character design and illustration.
It was in his sophomore year of college that Danny became more active and joined as a member of the school’s editorial team for events. There, he had more exposure to creating posters.
“That piqued my interest as I was happy to see the ability of visual design to grab someone’s attention,” Danny told us. However, poster design is not necessarily your main interest, but illustration.
If the opportunity arises, Danny hopes to be a great illustrator in the future.
Championing through the stages
Danny learned about the ACA design competition from a UTAR teacher before graduating in August 2021. He used it as an opportunity to test his skills in the national version of the competition first, the 2021 ACA Malaysia Championship.
Hosted by To shoot, a well-known local IT provider, the national competition narrows down to the top 30 students who will take an 8-hour live test without access to internet references for design inspiration. Acestar told Vulcan Post that Malaysia is the only country to run this test live to simulate the actual competition, and that only 3 winners can emerge. Next, thesis 3 will be prepared for the world stage.
This year Malaysia managed to produce 2 design students who made it to the Top 5 at the 2021 ACA World Championships. With Danny in first place, Sze Ting Teo of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) came in fifth.
During the global competition, students were given 6 hours to design a project for Unlimited solutions, a US-based bionics manufacturer that was chosen as this year’s non-profit customer. And if you’ve ever used Adobe Creative Cloud software, you know that a lot can go wrong when you rush to find a customer.
Many things can go wrong in 6 hours
Upon entering the competition without prior knowledge of Limbitless Solutions, Danny was only provided with the customer’s logo, some illustrations of his Bionic child comic characters and their title. The rest had to be designed from scratch with any of the creative software provided to him through the competitor’s virtual computer, which is where he entered deep water.
Danny shared that it took him and most of the participants over an hour to log into the virtual computer at the beginning of the 6-hour competition. Also, all participants must be given a single sign-on link, but Danny and another participant from Malaysia received the same, and it took them a while before they realized that.
It was beyond the designers’ abilities to solve the problem, so they had to call in the technical team of the competition.
Also, Danny, who is more proficient in Adobe Photoshop, reported that the Pen tool in the virtual computer software was not working properly.
“This affects my performance in the competition because [the Pen tool] it’s an important feature for creating good illustrations in Adobe Photoshop, ”said Danny, who had to come out of a momentary sense of defeat to focus his attention on his secondary strength, Adobe Illustrator.
But just when you thought you were out of the woods, the software started lagging when the effects were applied. With its slowing down after each new edit, Danny decided to export each layer from Adobe Illustrator and organize them in Adobe Photoshop.
Whether intentionally or not, Danny’s quick thinking and problem-solving abilities within the creative suite suggest his great ability to use them.
It is unknown whether or not the judges were aware of its design process. However, Danny still produced a design that won out in the areas of visual appeal, ability to meet customer requirements, branding aesthetics, and his use of Adobe Creative Cloud applications.
Now armed with a total of $ 7,000, Danny plans to use the prize fund to invite his family and teachers to thank them for their support. Then he’ll keep the rest for his future and hopefully use it as living expenses in the US, where he hopes to work as an illustrator.
- You can learn more about the 2021 Adobe Certified Associates World Championship here.
- Read other articles on Malaysian creatives here.
Featured Image Credit: Danny Tse Wei Chun, 1st Place Winner in the 2021 Adobe Certified Associates World Championship